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9Marks Explained : A Letter From Mark Dever

Bob Johnson

Blog posts by Bob Johnson:

Not Satisfied with Our Shepherding . . . Yet

The other day I suddenly thought, “Where have Stan and Maria (not their real names) been?” I had not seen them in church for a few weeks. The next day someone told me that they had left the church because of something said in a class. They never said a word to me or to anyone I know of. But out of nowhere they were gone.

Book Review: Break Out!, by Joel Osteen

Detroit’s freeways are framed by dozens of billboards featuring happy, young, successful people enjoying a night of games and entertainment at one of the city’s casinos. The sleek, enticing images preach an alluring message: “Greatness awaits you in the casinos.” “You were born to be lucky.” On and on it goes. A closer look reveals the 1-800 number for Gambler’s Anonymous. And if you ever went to a casino, you would find that the reality does not quite match the billboard.

Reaching the “Converted”

Some of our most obvious evangelistic opportunities are with the people who are members of our churches. You already have a relationship with them. You already have the advantage of consistently telling them the gospel. You also have some God-ordained opportunities to personally point them to Christ.

A Tale of Two Pastoral Transitions

The following two stories are true. The names have been changed to protect the guilty.


Is She Up for This? Questions for a Potential Pastor’s Wife

Before you pursue the office of pastor, you know that you need to be ready. But have you asked whether your wife is ready?

Formally, I don’t believe there should be extra expectations placed on a pastor’s wife. There is no office of “pastor’s wife” in the Bible. But practically, being married to a pastor is a tough role. Does your wife have what it takes? Is she up for it?

Those are the questions I want to help you ask in this article.

Leading the Church While Leading your Family

Seventeen years ago I went on a two-week trip to India and Korea to teach in a Bible college and some churches. Security at the airport was not as tight pre-9/11, so my family accompanied me to the gate. As I left my wife and three young children in the midst of a Michigan winter, my youngest daughter cried out "NOOOOO!" so long and so loud that the echo followed me down the jet way into the plane itself. She wasn't the only one who cried that day.

Shepherding a Church through the Loss of a Shepherd

Over time, we pastors grow accustomed to going straight from labor and delivery to the hospice floor. At the end of a worship service, we learn to grieve with those broadsided by tragedy only to laugh a few minutes later with those who want to share something with us that was really funny. These are roles we are expected to play. And if we are not careful, we can play the part well simply because we have done it so many times.